ISJL broadening education conference to everything “Southern & Jewish”

The 2023 ISJL conference in Mississippi. File photo.

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life’s annual June conference isn’t just for educators any more.

For two decades, congregations using the ISJL’s standardized religious school curriculum have gone to Jackson for a couple days of forums and networking. Now, the agency is reworking the conference for a diverse range of interests and renaming it “Southern and Jewish.”

Over the past few years, ISJL reorganized into three main areas — Culture, Education and Spirituality. When in-person conferences resumed in 2023 following the pandemic, the conference broadened its offerings, including small-congregation resources, and content for culture and spirituality.

With the new conference, there will be offerings in each of the three areas. While teachers and religious school leaders are encouraged to come to the education track, congregational presidents, lay leaders, parents and professionals, or anyone interested in Jewish life in the South, are invited to attend the conference.

Presenters who have already been announced include interfaith musical duo Lapidus & Myles of Atlanta, and Rabbi Stacy Rigler, a rabbi-educator currently serving as executive director of the Association of Reform Jewish Educators.

The conference will be held from noon on June 23 to noon on June 25 at the Sheraton Flowood, just east of Jackson. There is no registration fee for the conference itself, just for the hotel and meals. Early-bird rates were extended to April 15, and are $500 for double occupancy, $660 for single occupancy. A Saturday night extension before the conference is $162. Registration is due by June 1.